When we first arrived at Fun and Sun Resort Park in January 2014, I toured around the park to see where I might be able to find a spot to see some of the Rio Grande Valley Specialty Birds that I knew were in the area. Behind the park library, I located an area that housed a couple of bird feeders. There was nothing special about this spot between the library and the large dog park, except it was a bit out of the way. Here is a picture of what it looked like when I first saw it.
Not very exciting. But there was potential.
I met a few people in the park that could also see the potential of this space. Diana Miller, Joe-Ann Gruber and I sat down and put our heads together. We made a plan. We got the park management’s blessing. They provided some start-up money that went toward mulch and compost. They also provided a couple of maintenance men and some heavy equipment. We spread the compost and they roto-tilled the area. They also ran a water line out to the area.
Many of the plants came from Diana Miller’s own garden. Some of us went out and purchased plants, bushes, flowers and vines.
There are feeders interspersed among the plants. Lesta Thoene, a park resident, volunteered to head up and coordinate a group to look after the feeders. Each one in this group has a specific day of the week that they responsible to ensure that the feeders contain enough seed for the day. There is a feeder for black oil sunflower seed, another feeder for red millet, two small hummingbird feeders, three suet feeders, a place for peanut butter. In addition, apples, grapefruit and oranges are cut in half and placed around the garden.
The park management was so impressed with the efforts and the results, that last summer, they replaced the windows in the library. The old windows were not in the best of shape and a bit difficult to see out of from inside. The new windows are very clear. There is a row of comfortable rocking chairs right in front of the windows, providing a nice place to sit and read and look out upon the garden.
This past spring, the park also provided some money to buy some wood for a photo blind so that camera buffs could and sit adjacent to the garden and have a sheltered area from which to take pictures of the birds coming into the garden. Bob Turner designed the blind. Park resident Dave Barefoot and I build the blind. And this past summer, Diana Miller, found a couple of residents that volunteered to paint it. The park also built a wooden, accessible walkway that begins near the front of the library, goes behind the library and down to the bird blind.
The are many birds and butterflies being seen in the garden. One of the birds that always generates a lot of excitement is the GREEN JAY. This is a picture of a Green Jay that I took last year.